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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

515 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 515
Reviews: 337
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 31
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla visit their website

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 03-20-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 515 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BogleHill
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a hazy golden color in appearance. Frothy head dissappears fast. Stagnant particles remain. The aroma is of slightly sweet smoke. The flavor is very roasty caramel with a slight smoke finish. A quite drinkable brew - I would get this again.

BogleHill, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of donniecuffs
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the South Philly Tap Room. Poured a cloudy yellow/straw with two fingers of white head, and good retention. Picked up smoke in the nose, but less so than in some of the other Schlenkerla styles. Tasted very smokey initially, then more malty, and then a nice hoppy/malty finish, with smoke/malt in the aftertaste. Nicely carbonated medium/thin feel. Very sessionable.

donniecuffs, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of beeragent
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass from a bottle.

A - Light gold forming a 1/2 inch white head which quickly faded. Light spots of lace on the glass.

S - The nose is definetly dominated by the smoked malts however there is a slight hop presence, giving a light hop floral aroma.

T - Again, the smoked malts dominate the palate, but not overpowering. The hops appear towards the finish before the malts dominate in the aftertaste. Not really complex but extremely delicious.

M - Light and crisp. Good carbonation level and smooth finish.

D - This is definitely not the norm for a Helles lager, but if this is what they all tasted like, I would be drinking them alot more often. Great flavor and aroma. The smoked malts add a unique twist to the flavor while not being overpowering. Full flavor without being too heavy, and retaining that crisp lager mouthfeel.

beeragent, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of wcintula
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the Schnitzel Haus in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Nice choice of German, Austrian, and Belgian beers.

I didn't get to watch the pour but it was served to me in a weizen glass. Nice golden, straw colored body with lots of carbonation contributing to the two-finger, off-white, foamy head. My nose is picking up smoke only. It's more than the predominant smell here. The taste is a different story. Contrary to what I remember about the Marzen, the smokiness sits back a little and though, while ever present, lets the malts do more talking. There's a fine carbonation to this beer with medium body, it's excellent. I wish I weren't on a budget, because I'd order another. I enjoyed this beer with snails and venison.

wcintula, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of DerBayer
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best schlenkerla yet other than maybe the urbock but this really is amazing.

A perfect helles with a slight smokey punch. not faint but slight it is definitely present with a surprising faint honey aroma as well

i had this both from bottle and on tap and it s always superb. if you get a chance a definite must.

DerBayer, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of dbossman
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice white, foamy head with steady retention and good lacing

S: A combination of lemon/citrus and an eathy hay quality; pleasant but quite subtle

T: A smoky meatiness is most prevalent and that blends nicely with the earthy guality and subtle citrus from the hops

F: Very even balanced

D: A great beer for grilling; this is a nice, slightly smokey lager

dbossman, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear straw-yellow hue with nice white head and spots of lace.

S - Sweet floral, honey-ish and grassy lager aromas, surprisingly no real smoke.

T - Okay. Here's the smoke. And also a clean mineral taste with a ton of hop flavor (for a lager) on the finish. A very nice brew, subtle and understated.

M - Real smooth, lighter-bodied and softly carbonated.

D - Very enjoyable. I prefer this to most lagers.

ktrillionaire, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Errto
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear pale gold color with very active - even audible carbonation, and a loose head that settles to a thin layer.

Smell starts off with a distinctive German-style maltiness but later a very distinctive smoke comes through. It overpowers the other smells only because they're quite subtle - it's not nearly as thickly smoky as I was expecting (compared to, say, an island Scotch).

The flavor is more like what I'd expect from a Munich Helles. Light, crisp, refreshing, a delicate balance of malt with a small punch of hops. As with the smell, the smoke comes through only later and makes an interesting contrast. A little alcohol in the finish.

Very dry, but it does coat the tongue a bit. Overall, a really interesting mix of flavors that imho comes out just right.

Errto, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of udubdawg
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gold color capped by a thin head. It doesn't look as bright as I expected so I take a closer glance. I see a fine haze of tiny particles in the glass, though I only poured in half the bottle. I wonder briefly about the age of the bottle and move on.

Very nice aroma, malt surprising me at first as I expected overwhelming smoke. Smoke is there but if I didn't know the brewer it wouldn't have been in my first impression. Very well done...perhaps wish the overall aroma was just a little bigger.

A balanced well-done lager. Tasty, doesn't seem very bitter but it does seem a proper level. Quite drying, just enough to demand another sip but not quite to actually make my mouth parched. faintly sweet lingering malt flavor in the aftertaste. Smoke grows on my palate but never overwhelms.

Soft carbonation could be slightly higher, but there is little to quibble with here. Nice balance of sweet/bitter/dry without high alcohol makes this extremely drinkable. Even many of those who try to avoid the harshness of some smoked beers need to give this a try.

udubdawg, May 18, 2010
Photo of turkob
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review! Studying for the BJCP so here goes

A: Very translucent and absolutely filled with bubbles. Pours a thick, cloudy white head that subsides slowly and looks beautiful. Golden with a hint of amber.

S: Little smell at all. A little sweet, I can pick up a hint of malt and even less noble hops, but really almost completely without aroma.

T: Very crisp. A mild but distinct malt profile with a hint of hops on the finish. Grainy but mostly sweet.

M: Finishes dry. Lots of carbonation makes the beer tingle in your mouth. Not a lot of body, but not thin either.

O: A refreshing and light beer with plenty of flavor to keep you wanting more. I'd like a little more hops on the finish, but you can definitely drink a couple of these without blinking.

turkob, May 14, 2010
Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great start to the head--nearly pure white. Some spotty lace. Pale gold color and nearly clear (slight haze). The head does settle to nearly nothing.

Slightly skunked...otherwise a grainy, malty aroma. There's a mild touch of hop in the background.

Slightly sour from the skunkiness. Mostly malty with a mild hop spot in the swallow. Creamy finish. Good body for the style. Not the best light malted lager, but it holds its own.

smcolw, May 01, 2010
Photo of Greggy
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a thin bright white head with little lacing. The body is a hazy straw color.

S- Some graininess, light fruity hops and some honey notes, and a tiny suggestion of smokiness.

T- Starts out with a big malty whack with notes of honey, minerals, cereal grains, and some drying hops at the end, with again, a tiny bit of smoke.

M- What a nice full body for a beer of 4.3%. Carbonation is light and almost spritzy.

D- A pretty drinkable brew. I thought this was a smoked beer but from what I understand, it is not. At almost $5 for the bottle, I probably won't buy again.

Greggy, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After multiple drafts at Map Room, i've only had a bottle of this once before. There's a newer label now with red & black accents to the lettering. If you still have a blue label, you can be sure its old.

Bright gold, lazy ascending bubbles, creamy cap of foam becomes a delicate skim after some time. Concentric, drippy rings of lace are left after each sip. Looks good for a Helles.

Aroma is clean, and lightly sweet and malty. A bare trace of smoke, really only apparent as it warms. Slightly husky and earthy. Fairly delicate and subtle.

Gentle apple bread sweetness at first, becoming very dry and slightly bitter with noble hops in the end. A very light smoky element is there in the aftertaste, lingering in the background. It's simple, yet has an understated elegance with the smoke traces. There is some weight to it, but it falls just around medium on the mouthfeel scale.

A fine Bavarian lager to usher in the Spring and it's warming weather...

emerge077, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of maltlikker
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden straw color with a substantial fluffy white head which leaves thick lacing as it retreats.

Aroma is floral and light citrus with a hint of fresh bread and a wisp of smoke.

Flavor is mildly sweet biscuit and light smoke finishing with clean citrus and cleansing carbonation.

A really delightful beer - this would be a good brew for those who are put off by a rauchbier (many seem to be) but are intrigued by the idea of a smoked beer.

maltlikker, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of coachdonovan
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this is a nice yellow gold, but it is definitely not crystal clear, as others have experienced. it's not at all the haze you might find in a double IPA, but there are some fine particulates suspended throughout. i'm not entirely sure that they're supposed to be there, but let's keep moving.

there is a hint of smoke in the nose, but obviously much less than the rest Schlenkerla's offerings. otherwise it's all malt and no hops - cereal grains mostly. taste is equally malty. the style description for Helles Lager talks about more subdued spicy hop notes than Pils, and in this case i would say "absent" rather than "subdued" when it comes to spicy hop notes.

lately i've been all about lagers, but this one just doesn't do it for me. there's nothing wrong with it, but at the same time, i can't pick out anything about it that i love.

coachdonovan, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of Mcculler
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Needed a more vigorous pour so I'm being conservative on the appearance, but the colour was nothing truly exceptional - clear golden.

Smell - molasses, smoke, and autumn leaves.

Taste - tea, teaberry, smoke, dry autumn leaves, herbal finish.

Nicely carbonated.

At 4.5 or thereabouts very drinkable.

Beautiful, intriguing beer.

Mcculler, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier. On tap @ DBGB

Honey golden in color with a 1" frothy snow white head and little bubbles from carbonation perpetually streaming up the side of the glass. Inviting but not remarkable.

Some smokey, oaky notes to begin with. There's definitely light malt in the nose as well.

Oh wow! This is where it really shines and outperforms my wildest expectations. The sommelier at DBGB informed me that the beer is stored in wood casks and produced with machinery that imparts the smokiness. The initial flavor of biscuity malts and fruity esters in not immediately impressive. But the addition of the very slight woody taste makes all the difference and brings it into perfect balance. It tasted fresh, refreshing, but also soft and inviting.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Medium-bodied, decent amount of carbonation (I'm glad this one wasn't too carbonated as it would have overpowered the woody, smokey flavor). Very much a session beer at 4.3%, and the woody flavor in conjunction with its solid Munich helles lager attributes make this one a pleasure to consume in scalable quantities.

BeerNemesis, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Downeast Beverage in Portland ME, poured chilled in a pils glass shared with brew partner Tim Diener.

A - A very clear straw golden w/ visible carbonation and tiny beading. The lager creates spotty laced and the retention is very good

S - A slight smokiness is noted which is sweet w/ light hints of malt aroma

M- A light grainy feel w/ subtle smokey accent. The lager is mildly sweet with a moderatly low level of carbonation and mild spice. The lager finishe w/ a light toasted note

T - A subtle pilsner taste w/ slight sweet grainy flavor and mild cereal note and toasted flavor. The lager has a mild slight smoke but is married well and lets the malt stand on its own - no need to overwhelm with smoke as it still has a gental touch of herbal hop flavor in the finish

D - I love the complexity of the lager and the smoke compliments in every way and really addss to the Helles - Excellent drinkability!

Slatetank, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of meeekyh
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the 16.9oz bottle into a belled flute. I will note that the label is a bit different than the one pictured. I believe it is a new label, as I found it behind a bottle with a label that did match the one pictured as of this review. Basically there is additional red ink.

The pour reveals a very light straw colored, very clear beer wearing a pure white fluffy head with a bit of lacing.

Nose is tame but slightly smoky. There is a bit of grain and that is about it. Interesting, I just read the label and it notes the smokiness comes 'without using smoke malt', OK.

Taste carries that same smokiness, really interesting and somehow more refreshing than I imagined. It has a peat-smoked notion that reminds me of Scotch. There is tartness and a profile much like a German pils but that is swallowed by the smoke as the finish comes on. It ends spicy.

The feel is light and sparkly but heavily carbonated. The smoke and spice add to the dryness and make this a ridiculously drinkable beer.

I have never had this style before but for the overall tastiness, the novelty of the non-smoked-smokyness, and the uber-quaffability I give it very high marks. It was a bit on the pricey side though...

meeekyh, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of froghop
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a semi-hazy pale yellow with a thin white head, and not much lacing.

smell is faint, malt, grain, a touch of smoke, and a little corn.

taste is of corn, malt, a little sweet in back, a little smoke, and well hidden hops, ends dry and a little bitter.

froghop, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of david131
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A clear, golden color with a quick to rise and fall white head. There is not much head retention at all.

S- Fruit and sweet malt. Unique enough to stand out. Intriguing.

T- Sweet malt with just a hint of smoke. The fruit aspect is very nice but not out of control. The sweetness is rather mild.

M- Enough carbonation for a decent bite. Very clean and smooth on the finish.

D- Would make a great session beer if it was significantly cheaper.

david131, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of tzieser
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 500ml bottle into a weihenstephan glass.

a: crystal clear, bright golden color with a thick white head that dissipates into a small lacing. decent retention. nice.

s: nice smokey malt aroma, with undertones of hops. smells like a good helles, but with a subtly smokey background.

t: nice smoked malt flavor up front, with a touch of noble hops in the back to give it that pilsner-inspired flavor. finishes a tad dry, as it should. really good stuff. i love how the smoked malts give this beer a whole other dimension of flavor. basically tastes like a good authentic helles (like weihenstephan), generously smoked over hardwood. excellent stuff.

m&d: nice mouthfeel. drinkability is great. probably the most drinkable/sessionable smoked beer i've ever had.

i was ecstatic when i saw this at the store. i'm really glad it lived up to my expectations.

tzieser, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of mikeborglum
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 500ml Bottle in pint glass at room temp - Clear, pilsener-golden beer with a small, white head. Faint smoked aromas and some sweet malt in the flavour. Good smokey notes that are very exciting. Fresh and easy to drink. Great pilsner beer and great flavor!

mikeborglum, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of 1fastz28
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a light golden color with hardly any foam at all, it looks pretty boring really. smell is ok, some light hops and sweet malt flavor are pretty prevalent. taste is pretty similar, has a nice sweet malt flavor as its base, with a light hop flavor to it, mouthfeel and drinkability are decent, its a nice helles, but i really think there are betters out

1fastz28, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of animal69
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a slightly cloudy med. golden yellow w/ a decent sized white head which quickly dissipates leaving little lace in my mug (dirty glass?)

S- smell is mostly steely cereal grain w/ some smokey and floral/grassy hops

T- taste is much smokier than smell, comes out in front of everything & finishes w/ just as much, in between are some cereal grains and muted noble hops, an even bitterness goes well with it all to leave a smokey light bitter finish on the palate

M- a fairly dry, light body, yet a bit fuller than one would think a 4.3% beer would be, good amount of co2

D- a very drinkable brew, a nice session beer w/ lots of flavor

animal69, Jan 03, 2010
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 515 ratings.